Friday, June 20, 2008

The French Are Following Us

Jenny and I arose early on Sunday morning and dragged our luggage through the deserted streets of Paris. On the way to the bus to the airport, we saw a drunk kid laughing uncontrollably about something having to do with Facebook, a man smoking a cigarette inside the Metro car, and a group of guys getting kicked out of a club. This was all before 6 a.m.

Once in Dublin, we explored the town. Our hostel was located in Temple Bar, described as Dublin's "Left Bank". The area was brimming with art, it seemed. We stumbled upon the Dublin Institute of Technology's Photography Graduate School show. We passed several performance spaces. We also saw this converted space telling of the dangers of heroin. A young man's body had been discovered here, and Dublin decided to use the plot as a warning. We saw someone climbing out of it for who knows what reason. I'd like to speculate, but my mind goes to dark places when I do.

One of our roommates in our hostel was French, a girl from just outside Paris who had been living in the hostel for a month, waiting for her friend to join her in Dublin so they could move in together. She was excited to have girls in the room, and told us all about the scandalous goings-ons with the boys that had stayed there previous.

Also in the hostel were about three million French elementary school kids. Because they were almost literally crawling all over the hostel, Jenny and I ran into them a lot. I spoke French with them, because I figure they haven't learned to judge harshly yet. Or perhaps they have and just didn't let on about how horrible my pronunciation was.

We went to bed fairly early, exhausted from the journey and the fact that we would never escape France (not that we really wanted to, but if you're going to be surrounded by French people, it helps to also be surrounded by boulangeries, pâtisseries, and maybe an architectural marvel or two).

At around 6:30 am, there was a scream and a banging on our door: "Aidez-moi ! Aidez-moi ! Je suis bloqué!" Of the three others in our room (sans French girl, she was at work), no one moved except Jenny and I. The cries continued until we opened the door. There we found a sobbing little boy, completely confused and looking terrified. It was too early in the morning for conjugation or gender agreement, so through various three-word sentences, we were able to construe that he was lost and didn't know where his room was. We told him we would take him to where he needed to be. He nodded, wringing his hands and wiping his face. We led him down the stairs, accidentally taking a wrong turn and ending up on a different mezzanine. For lack of a better term, the boy totally freaked out and started sobbing again. All we could think to say were idioms like "C'est pas grave!" and "Ne pleurez pas!". Finally we got to the main staircase. The little boy looked so grateful, and through his tears he managed a "thank you". In English, no less, so we figured he really meant it.

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